Swedish vs. Deep-Tissue Massage: Finding the Right Way to Relax
Swedish and deep-tissue massage are two bodywork approaches that render very different benefits. Read our guide to choose the best option for you.
The relationship between deep-tissue and Swedish massage is much like that between DayQuil and NyQuil. Both are designed to help you feel better, but the one that makes the most sense depends on your individual needs. Here's what to expect from each of the two modalities:
Swedish massage combines four distinct motions—effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement—to help relieve muscle tension and stimulate blood flow, thereby energizing the body and soothing the mind during a single relaxing session. The four phases are easy enough to distinguish. Effleurage refers to the smooth, gliding strokes that help relax soft tissues at the beginning of the treatment, followed by the squeezing, rolling, or kneading gestures of petrissage. Deep, circular motions make up the friction phase, in which layers of tissue rub against one another to boost circulation. Therapists conclude the massage with tapotement, a rapid cadence of percussive taps performed with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand.
Whereas Swedish massage focuses on relieving mental and physical tension, deep-tissue massage has more specific concerns. Due to stress and other factors, the layer of connective tissue that covers and interpenetrates the body's muscles and bones—the fascia—often tenses up, resulting in muscle knots and a painful buildup of lactic acid. Deep-tissue massage aims to warm up the fascia and release the accumulated toxins. To achieve this, the therapist’s fingers, thumbs, and elbows move along the body in slow, deliberate strokes, applying pressure to penetrate beyond superficial muscle layers. Although the intensity can produce some discomfort, deep-tissue massage should still be relaxing; the goal, after all, is to relieve the tension between muscles and their weird roommate, the skeleton.
Whether visitors suffer from headaches, lower-back pain, or anything in between, Massage By Hayden can help them find relief. The studio’s namesake massage therapist Hayden Birch blends Swedish, deep-tissue, sports, and trigger-point techniques to soothe sore muscles. Hayden offers more than basic modalities, though. He’s received extensive training in more unusual bodywork approaches, such as Japanese Zen face massage and Chinese craniosacral therapy. As a result, he has plenty of methods in his wheelhouse to help relax clients and boost their energy levels.
Certified massage therapists use organic products made with fruits and vegetables, working the botanical elements into the skin with gentle hand movements or massage tools. The staff also possesses mastery with Bongers— therapeutic instruments that mimic the impact of a child's fist. Aside from paddling taut muscles or snare drums, therapists arrange heated stones on sore muscles, apply a gentle touch to expectant mothers, and knead overused tissues on athletes. Other services include facials, waxing, lashes, and energy-healing services. Each body treatment and massage is tailored to the client's specific needs, and will restore bodies to a state of relaxed joyousness unlike any they’ve experienced since they got their braces removed. Reflexology allows pressure applied to the hands and feet to relieve tension and pain, and personalized aromatherapy services rely on essential oils to give an added boost to massages.
At World Therapy Center, a staff of massage therapists, aestheticians, and naturopathic doctors have up to 20 years of experience providing therapeutic services to their loyal customers. Most of the services are forms of massage therapy, but they also offer facials, body scrubs, and polishes, along with holistic wellness and weight loss services. Clients opting for a medical massage have the opportunity to pay with insurance claims, while those choosing the hot stone massage have the opportunity to write a thank you note to the fire-breathing dragon who heated the rocks before their appointment. World Therapy Center is also a boutique where salts, polishes, robes, and soaps bring the pampering experience home.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Our spa is above and beyond the normal spa experience, because we are smaller and can cater to the specific needs of the client.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Wellness is my passion and seeing people living in a state of wellness is my inspiration
What do you love most about your job?
The beautiful people I meet.
What is the best reaction you've ever gotten from a customer?
Signature Service: Therapeutic Massage
Brands Used: Bon Vital
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Minimum Age Requirement: 18
Pro Tip: My practice is located inside Urban Body Studios, which is located at the back of our building.